Over $75 Million Returned to Montana Homeowners So Far

HELENA, Oct. 2 – In just five weeks, the State of Montana has issued more than $75 million in property tax refunds to Montana home owners, Governor Brian Schweitzer announced today.

“Montana is on the move,” said Governor Brian Schweitzer. “We’ve got the lowest unemployment, our wages are growing 3rd fastest and our economy is growing faster than 90% of the rest of the nation. That’s why we can give this money back to Montanans.”

The Department of Revenue began processing claims for the $400 property tax refund on August 27 and, as of September 30, had issued refunds totaling $75,104,836.22 to nearly 190,060 Montana households, said revenue director Dan Bucks. On average, those who have applied online receive their refund in 3 to 5 days. Paper applications take are currently taking up to 15 days.

So far, payments have been made to nearly 94% of the property owners who have applied. More than 202,700 refund applications have been received- 80% of the 254,000 homeowners who are expected to qualify for the tax refund. Overall, the program is expected to provide nearly $100 million in property tax refunds to residential homeowners.

The department encourages qualified property owners who have not applied to do so soon. In particular, the department is reminding Montana’s farm and ranch families that they may qualify for the $400 property tax refund, even if their homes are owned as a family business. Provisions in the law allow members of family farm and ranch corporations who own at least 20% of the corporation to qualify, if they meet the residency requirement.

“We want to issue a tax refund to every property owner who is entitled to receive one,” said Bucks. “We want property owners to learn about the refund and to apply if they qualify.” Property owners may qualify even though they did not receive a personalized application form in the mail from the Department of Revenue, he added.

There are several ways to get an application form. Property owners may submit a refund claim online at mt.gov/revenue. In addition, there is a downloadable application form on the website that can be printed and mailed to the department. Paper application forms also are available at county treasurers’ offices, local Department of Revenue offices and larger public libraries.

The deadline to apply for the refund is December 31, 2007.

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